Though many might side-eye published statistics about the rise in vinyl record sales over the recent few years, fellow music heads know that the spike in wax sales also means a hike in used and rare record prices at favorite ma & pop shops around town. Those of us who have been getting our knuckles dusty in seemingly endless crates of unwanted vinyl platters for years know that the days of the $1 bin jack-pot are becoming fewer and fewer.
The popularity of record collecting has exploded and it is no longer a secret that New Orleans has some of the best stock. Nonetheless, the rare collectibles rebirth still hasn’t reached a level of economic stability for brick and mortar record shacks so high that they can compete with today’s digital music conveniences, or prices. That said, national Record Store Day - this year falling on Saturday, April 20 – not only carries heavy significance as an advocacy for supporting your local businesses and independent artists, but also for re-establishing the value of the record store experience. You know, the eccentric shop owners and encyclopedic employees… fighting over a new or rare disc with a fellow music head… eying someone famous… a conversation with a new crush over a new discovery. None of these irreplaceable experiences can be duplicated on iTunes or Amazon. And since New Orleans is really all about that live music vibe, that intimate interaction with characters from all walks, it is no surprise that some of our fair city’s chief wax aficionados have gads of NOLA record store memories to share.
This year, we’ve rounded up a tight list of some of our favorite record shops and asked some of our local authorities to tell us about some of their best New Orleans crate digging memories. If this doesn’t inspire you to fall in love with a new 12″ this Saturday, or in love with another crate digger you might happen across while thumbing through warm, rich sonic pressings at one of these local staples, well then…
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NOLA CRATE DIGGING MEMORY?
“By me literally growing up in Odyssey Records since the early 1980’s (Carollton and the Canal St. location), I’ve experienced personal service from a mom-n-pop shop where they would help you find songs you were looking for (before the dawn of GOOGLE). My favorite record store moments would be the celebrity in-stores such as Biggie and Craig Mack , Ice Cube or my favorite …the Cash Money Records midnight sales… the cars, the crowds, the craziness… those were the days…
“I have too many record store memories and love every New Orleans shop in its own way. In Louisiana Music Factory I’ve ran into and met the originators of so much music that I love, including Ernest Skipper, who cut one Mardi Gras Indian funk 45 in the early 80’s called “Shotgun Joe” on the Rosemont Label. That meeting led to a friendship with Mr. Skipper until he passed on several years ago. Mr. Skipper in turn introduced me to one of the great unsung heroes of NOLA gospel and secular music, Alfred Taylor who ran Rosemont Records and Studio, whom I profiled in OffBeat in 2011. That meeting also led to Mr. Skipper’s record being featured in the film “Bury the Hatchet” about the split within the Yellow Pocahontas that led to the creation of Fi-Ya-Ya, and was a direct result of the release of that 45. New Orleans is a place where musical legends still live amongst the people and Louisiana Music Factory is a place where you are likely to run into some.
3) “My best memory of digging [in NOLA] has to be finding a clean copy of a Stevie Wonder EP recorded in Brazil at Jim Russell ‘s. Tt’s a very rare recording and I just happened to stumble upon it while digging for some bosa nova.” ~ Rik Ducci – DJ, producer and record collector
4) “Joking around with Eddie Bo and his sister and running across a copy of “Unit’s Groove” by The Unit Band in Jim Russell’s.” ~ Maxmillion - DJ and avid rare record collector
5) “Man, I don’t know, I have waaaayyyy too many fantastic record digging memories at home here – too many to name off hand. Unfortunately, many of my favorites were at place that no longer exist. But all I can say about digging in New Orleans is: just go to the sto’ and go for what’cha know!” ~ Soul Sister - DJ, WWOZ FM “Soul Power” Show Host and right-on party thrower
…and on that note, see ya’ll out digging this Saturday!
CLICK HERE to view the New Orleans Record Store Photo Gallery x Jerald White
Esplanade Ridge / Broad St.
2557 Bayou Rd.
Saturday: 12noon – 6pm
Official Record Store Day Releases in-stock
3401 Chartres St.
Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Live Performances: 1:30pm – 6:00pm
A.F. the Naysayer
peace love technicolor dream
Hundreds of Official RSD Releases in-stock
$2 off all used vinyl over $5
FREE food and beer provided by Reginelli’s
Uptown / Garden District
1837 Magazine St.
Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Cash – buy 1, get 1 free on all records
Credit Card – buy 2, get 1 free on all records
All ’45’s will be $3 ea.
+ special surprise guests in-store
210 Decatur St.
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
RSD Official Releases from this year AND last year in-stock
2pm – Andrew Duhone
3pm – Miss Sophie Lee
4pm – Dave Jordan
4714 Magazine St.
Discounted CDs, tapes, videos
French Quarter / CBD
1012 Canal St.
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Odyssy will be closing within the next couple months, so be sure to visit this legendary shop! A staple for years on Canal Street.
408 N. Peters St.
Saturday: 10am – 8pm
907 Bourbon St.
Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Hundreds of RSD Official Releases in-stock
records bags, posters, more